NAMM 2016: New M-Audio M-Track Interfaces with USB-C
With their new series of M-Track audio interfaces, M-Audio has taken an original course. We already knew the regular M-Track and Plus models, but these new interfaces have a completely different look, featuring a metal housing and controls on top. The technology has also clearly been updated.
USB-C and preamps
Each of the new M-Track sound cards - except for the M-Track Hub - is equipped with a USB-C port. This new, ultra-small connector doesn't only feature on the latest Macs, but is destined to be the new standard for all computers. By fitting the M-Track interfaces with these clever little ports, M-Audio have made them future-proof! Rest easy, though, these external audio interfaces also still support USB-A. Even though the M-Tracks with their practical design and well-organised layout are perfect for relatively inexperienced musicians, it's their outstanding 24-bit/192kHz audio quality that really makes them stand out. The M-Track 1212 even boasts a 32-bit resolution! Furthermore, the rugged interfaces are equipped with high-headroom microphone preamps, so the chance of distortion at a high volume level is reduced to a minimum.
Playback and recording
If you never make your own recordings and focus strictly on 'in the box' productions (in other words, if you only use the sounds on your computer), the M-Track Hub is just right for you. The Hub was designed to send out a high-quality signal to set of monitor speakers, using balanced jack outputs. However, as many producers like to work with one or more MIDI controllers or MIDI keyboards, and you usually only have a limited number of USB inputs at your disposal, this clever device also features an integrated, powered 3-port USB hub. All of the other new M-Audio interfaces, such as the M-Track Solo, were developed for recording purposes and come with a software bundle for beginners that includes Ableton Live Lite. The two-channel SOLO has a single microphone input and a single instrument input, making it ideal for singer-songwriters who want to record their own vocals and guitar parts. If you like, you can even record both simultaneously, while a headphone output allows you to monitor your recordings without latency.
Two or four microphones
If you'd like to connect at least two microphones or two instruments (on the front), we recommend you opt for the M-Track 22. This audio interface automatically detects which connectors you're using, and even has MIDI IN/OUT so you can plug in MIDI devices with 5-pin DIN connectors. The M-Track 84 doubles the number of microphone inputs to four. Once again, channels 1 and 2 are suitable for instruments as well, allowing for even more recording setups, such as four vocalists or four acoustic instruments. It's also possible to record two singers who each play an electric or electro-acoustic instrument such as guitar or bass guitar. Two musicians can each use their own headphone output while they're recording, opting for either channel 1/2 or channel 3/4 per output.
DB-25 and 32 bits
Are you not that fond of surprises? In that case, the M-Track 1212 is probably the best choice for you. It may look like a simple 2-channel model, like the M-Track 22, but on the back you'll find two DB-25 connectors where you can plug in the two included breakout cables. That way, you'll have an additional eight line inputs and eight line outputs at your disposal (balanced jacks), enabling you to transmit a large number of line signals from and to your computer. Use the included Control Panel software to create mix groups for these signals, and to route sub mixes. If you're an ambitious home producer, the M-Track 1212 interface is definitely the most attractive option. Remember, it's the only M-Track model that records audio in 32-bit quality!
Keep an eye on the product pages for up-to-date information on availability and pricing.
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